counter

Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
Audience Business Culture Design Locations Media Methods Services Social Issues

Children


Disabled


Elderly


Gender


Teens


Advertising


Branding


Business


Innovation


Marketing


Mechatronics


Technology


Architecture


Art


Creativity


Culture


Identity


Mobility


Museum


Co-creation


Design


Experience design


Interaction design


Presence


Service design


Ubiquitous computing


Africa


Americas


Asia


Australia


Europe


Italy


Turin


Blogging


Book


Conference


Media


Mobile phone


Play


Virtual world


Ethnography


Foresight


Prototype


Scenarios


Usability


User experience


User research


Education


Financial services


Healthcare


Public services


Research


Tourism


Urban development


Communications


Digital divide


Emerging markets


Participation


Social change


Sustainability


Posts in category 'Participation'

9 October 2014

New ebook details Seoul’s Sharing City project

SharingCitySeoul

With its official, city-wide commitment to the sharing economy, Seoul’s metropolitan government has emerged as a leader in the global sharing movement. Recently, Creative Commons Korea released an ebook detailing many of the Sharing City, Seoul projects, at both the community- and municipal-level, that form this new sharing mega-city.

As the Sharing City, Seoul ebook introduction notes, while Seoul is spearheading a sharing revolution, sharing is not new to its residents. Seoul is a city with a rich cultural heritage of sharing, including labor exchanges called “poomasi” and farmers’ coops called “dure.” Today, with 10 million residents—the majority of them possessing smartphones—and a government committed to creating a sharing culture, Seoul is well-positioned to bring mass sharing to one of the densest cities in the world.

Cat Johnson summarizes on Shareable some of the initiatives highlighted in the ebook:

6 March 2014

How collaborating with patients improves hospital care

hospital-care-improvement-009

The Guardian reports on how a new UK project where patients and NHS staff work together to improve services shows that even small changes can have a big impact on the quality of care.

The project, with an impossibly long name, has been designed by academics from Oxford university’s health experience research group and studies patients’ experience of illness. Working with professor Glenn Robert at King’s College London, who had developed a new approach to help the NHS make better use of patient feedback, the Oxford academics compiled short videos about patients’ experiences of intensive care and lung cancer services.

They formed the basis for small group discussions between medical staff, managers, patients and relatives who identified priorities for change, many of which were then implemented.

Download background materials

15 August 2013

By Us, For Us: The power of co-design and co-delivery

ByUsForUs

At the core of a People Powered Health approach is collective ownership of health and wellbeing. Professionals need to start from the position of not necessarily knowing the right answer, which is a significant challenge. Creating a health system driven by the people within it, not by the institutions that provide care, requires engagement in all stages – in designing, delivering or using, and in evaluating the service. This recognises that those who provide and experience services should have an equal say and role in how services are designed and delivered.

This requires going beyond ‘engagement’, ‘involvement’ and ‘person-centred’ towards real co-design and co-delivery at every level of the health service. There are many definitions, and many facets, of co-design and co-delivery. What all of them have in common is an ethos and recognition that those who provide and experience services should have an equal say and role in how such services are designed and delivered.

By us, For us: the power of co-design and co-delivery is one in a series of learning products which explain why People Powered Health works, what it looks like and the key features needed to replicate success elsewhere.

It draws on the experience of the six teams who took part in People Powered Health, which was led by Nesta and Innovation Unit from summer 2011 to winter 2012.

The series includes:

6 June 2013

Participatory design in healthcare

participatory-design-healthcare-small

Participatory Design in Healthcare: Patients and doctors can bridge critical information gaps is the title of a UX Magazine article by Andrii Glushko, a UX designer at SoftServe Inc.

“What we now call participatory design went through a number of changes, and can be seen influencing urban design, architecture, community planning, and placemaking, as well as landscape design, product design, sustainability, graphic design, software design, and healthcare. The combination of the last two elements is the subject of this article.

Most of us will agree that developing a model of a future healthcare IT product should involve professionals who are familiar with design thinking, and can apply usability best practices to design a solid product. But shaping a model or a concept of a healthcare product is too important and often too risky to leave to the UX designers alone.

The main issue is a lack of background knowledge and the completely different experiences of a designer and an actual user”

6 June 2013

Technology puts power in the hands of the Millennial Generation

millennial

This week the Financial Times has run two reports on the Millennial Generation.

Part Two (pdf) came out today, whereas Part One is from June 3.

Part Two’s leading article is definitely worth exploring, particularly in how it connects technology and mobile devices with empowerment of a new generation:

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

This generation sees technology as levelling the playing field. In the FT-Telefónica Global Millennials Survey of 18 to 30-year olds almost 70 per cent of respondents said “technology creates more opportunities for all” as opposed to “a select few”.

This belief has brought tremendous confidence to the world’s first generation of digital natives, despite facing the worst economic outlook since the great depression.”

More background also in this article.

31 May 2013

Smart cities and smart citizens

shutterstock_51714499-1024x654

For future smart cities to thrive, it must be centred around people, not just infrastructure. This was the overwhelming message from a group of influential thinkers speaking at this year’s FutureEverything Summit. sustain’ went along to find out what smart-city planners can learn from bottom-up approaches.

“It seems global corporations and the large-scale technology platforms they offer and promote seem to be at odds with many of the localised, small-scale technology projects showcased at the Summit and, indeed, the interests of citizens themselves. And if there was one stark warning that emerged from the Summit for city leaders thinking about investing in smart-city technology, it was ignore your citizens at your peril. [...]”

The city is what it is because of the people. [...]

In many ways, social media has created a new interface for the city and how its citizens interact with it. Citizens have the opportunity to try something out, such as a pop-up café – and multiply it through social media and feedback via bespoke apps: physical activity and digital activity in harmony. Yet this appears to be contrary to the thinking behind many current smart systems which merely deliver information in order to change attitudes and behaviour. [...]

Citizens are quite obviously embracing new technologies – but it isn’t always for reasons of efficiency: it’s about sociability; it’s about transparency; it’s about culture; and it’s also about fun – gaming and entertainment. Furthermore, a one-size-fits-all approach to smart cities will not easily work in an age where, even at the most basic level, apps designed for specific spaces or cities are prevalent on most mobile phones. Bespoke solutions will be required.”

25 February 2013

The problem with our data obsession

reviewdata

To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
by Evgeny Morozov
Public Affairs Book, 2013
432 pages
[Amazon]

Abstract
In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency? What if some such problems are simply vices in disguise? What if some friction in communication is productive and some hypocrisy in politics necessary? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything—from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity—by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior we may also change the very nature of that behavior. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement—but only if we keep solutionism in check and learn to appreciate the imperfections of liberal democracy. Some of those imperfections are not accidental but by design.
Arguing that we badly need a new, post-Internet way to debate the moral consequences of digital technologies, To Save Everything, Click Here warns against a world of seamless efficiency, where everyone is forced to wear Silicon Valley’s digital straitjacket.

Review by Brian Bergstein (MIT Technology Review)

“The quest to gather ever more information can make us value the wrong things and grow overconfident about what we know.”

“Evgeny Morozov worries that we are too often [...] opting to publish more information to increase transparency even if it undermines principles such as privacy or civic involvement. [...]

Transparency is ascending at the expense of other values, Morozov suggests, mainly because it is so cheap and easy to use the Internet to distribute data that might someday prove useful. And because we’re so often told that the Internet has liberated us from the controls that “gatekeepers” had on information, rethinking the availability of information seems retrograde—and the tendency toward openness gathers even more force.”

15 November 2012

The Talking Circles conference format

ddei

The Designing Design Education for India (DDEI) Conference, which will take place in March 2013 in Pune, India, has an unusual, but engaging format:

“This will be an interactive conference. Unlike other conferences where the presenters speak from one side and the attendees are mere spectators or at the most the discussion is confined to formal Q&A sessions, this conference expects the conferees to play the role of a Moderator or a Synthesizer and interact freely in the talking circles. [...]

At the end of each day of the first two days, talking circle for each of the stream is planned. The aim is to encourage an open and inclusive format for discussion and the sharing of ideas. Talking circles are meetings of minds, directed at points of discussion, difference, or difficulty. At this conference the talking circle is intended as an opportunity to interact around the key streams of the conference vis-à-vis the themes. The outcomes of the talking circles will be discussed on the third and final day of the conference.

The Talking Circle for each stream will meet for a 1-hour session. A facilitator will be designated for each of the talking circle on each day from amongst the moderators. The facilitator will record the points of convergence and divergence and will summarize them. The discussion in the talking circle will be based on three main questions viz. What is our common ground? | What key ideas are emerging? | What is to be done?

Apparently the concept is not entirely new. It was already used at UC Berkeley in 2005, where they described Talking Circles as follows:

“Talking circles are meetings of minds, often around points of difference or difficulty. They are common in indigenous cultures. The inherent tension of the meeting is balanced by protocols of listening and respect for varied viewpoints. From this, rather than criticism and confrontation, productive possibilities may emerge.”

Also the 2011 Climate Change conference in Rio used it. Yet this participatory, co-creative format doesn’t seem to be very common.

The DDEI conference is hosted by India Design Council which is an autonomous body of Government of India established under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

At the conference design educators, design thinkers, design practitioners share their ideas, experiences and vision about various future transformations occurring in education in the light of India’s traditional and current understanding of design education. The aim is to inspire the future of design education in India and determine the nature and future of the design education framework in India for the period 2014–2019.

5 August 2012

Social media’s neoliberal world view (and how it affects us all)

Alice3_sm

Recently I have embarked on trying to understand better the underlying ideology and world view of the Silicon Valley tech scene, and how this is impacting our daily lives through the products and services they create.

My mission is still far from complete and reading suggestions are more than welcome. On Twitter, Brian Schroer guided me to a few books and to this inspiring 2010 NYU doctoral dissertation by Alice E. Marwick, currently an Assistant Professor in Fordham University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies. Previously she was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England in the Social Media Collective (and therefore a frequent co-author with danah boyd), and a visiting researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

Marwick’s 511 page dissertation, which she is now reworking into a book for Yale Press, is based on ethnographic research of the San Francisco technology scene and explains how social media’s technologies are based on status-seeking techniques that encourage people to apply free-market principles to the organization of social life.

Rather than re-publishing the abstract, I want to cite a few paragraphs (on pages 11-13) from her introduction:

“David Harvey defines neoliberalism as “a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (Harvey 2007, 2). Neoliberal policies emphasize “trade openness, a stable, low-inflation macroeconomic environment, and strong contract enforcement that protects the rights of private property holders” (Ferguson 2006). [...] Neoliberalism is also an ideology of the integration of these principles into daily life; neoliberal discourse reproduces by encouraging people to regulate themselves ―according to the market principles of discipline, efficiency, and competitiveness‖ (Ong 2006, 4). Aihwa Ong identifies “technologies of subjectivity,” which use knowledge and expertise to inculcate this expertise in individual subjects. Exploring such technologies reveals how neoliberalism is experienced, and how these subjectivities are formed.

I argue that social media is a technology of subjectivity which educates users on proper self-regulating behavior. Internet and mobile technologies create the expectation that white-collar professionals should always be on the job, decreasing personal agency and creating conflicts between the often-contradictory demands of work and home life (Middleton 2007). Social media encourages status-seeking practices that interiorize the values of Silicon Valley, which is a model of neoliberal, free-market social organization. In the technology scene, market-based principles are used to judge successful social behavior in oneself and others, extended through social media. Status increases up to a point with the ability to attract and attain attention online. The ability to position oneself successfully in a competitive attention economy becomes a marker of reputation and standing. Web 2.0 discourse is a conduit for the materialization of neoliberal ideology. I isolate three self-presentation techniques rooted in advertising and marketing to show how social media encourages a neoliberal subject position among high-tech San Francisco workers: micro-celebrity, self-branding, and lifestreaming.”

15 June 2012

Participatory design in action at Experientia

finnish_pd

As a people-centred design company, Experientia® frequently uses participatory design methods in its projects.

We believe that people are usually the best experts on their own lives, and participatory methods help us to tap into that expertise, to create an outcome that really matters to people.

Over the years, we have used participatory workshops and co-creative activities in North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Nordic and Continental Europe, to design product and service concepts ranging from websites to public saunas, from mobile phone applications to office spaces.

In a feature article in our spotlights section we present three examples of how using participatory design in a project has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the problem being explored, and the quality of our solutions. The examples include better service ideas for one of America’s biggest pharmacy chains, mobile phone concepts for emerging markets, and combining saunas and business in Finland.

12 June 2012

A social network built around giving

impossible

Model and actress Lily Cole’s social network, Impossible, has been designed for users to meet and help each other. Users post requests (say, “I wish to have a haircut”), and anyone in their local network can offer to help. The emphasis is on giving, rather than bartering. “Giving triggers social cohesion,” says Cole, 24. “It’s also the basis for an economy not based on money. Impossible will facilitate that via social media.”

Impossible is in beta and is still self-funded, and its advisers include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and economist Hazel Henderson. “Impossible is a utopian idea,” she says, “but I do believe it is possible.”

(via Wired UK)

14 May 2012

Is the 1,9,90 rule outdated?

 

The BBC have just released some interesting research around participation online, writes Neil Perkin on FutureLab.

The findings (the result of a “large-scale, long-term investigation into how the UK online population participates using digital media today”) have raised a little controversy since they seem to indicate that the long-term model or view of participation online, the 1,9,90 rule, is outmoded.

“The BBC claim that their research (I’ve embedded a presentation of the research findings below) shows that the number of people actively participating online is significantly higher than 10%, with 77% of the UK online population now active in some way and participation now the norm rather than the exception. The key driver of this, they say, is the rise in ‘easy participation’ – activities that once required significant effort but are now seamless and every day. 60% of the online population fall into this category. Interestingly, they also found that despite participation becoming much easier, a significant minority (23%) did not participate at all, a passivity not as closely related to digital literacy as some might expect. This leads them to conclude that digital participation is best viewed through the lens of choice, the decisions we make based on who we are rather than what we have, or our level of digital skill.”

Read article

1 May 2012

To really understand social media, you must also understand online communities

deacon

When we talk about social media we are really only talking about tools that we can use to help us and the people we engage to achieve a task. To make a success in social media we need to understand online communities, argues Matt Rhodes.

“There is a fundamental difference in how people behave when they are primarily in a group of actual friends (such as on Facebook) and how you interact with people not because you know them and are friends with them, but because you share a common interest (such as in a forum for fans of Arsenal football club, a site for mum chatting about nutrition in early years or a group of runners helping each other with training advice and tips as they prepare to run a marathon).

An online community is a group of people who exhibit this second behaviour. They do not necessarily know each other, and may not have any desire to become friends in that broader sense of the word. They do have a common passion, interest, concern or question. And they can find and engage with others online because of this.”

Read article

25 April 2012

The process of co-creation with users

image3_paperProt

In an article for UX Magazine, Catalina Naranjo-Bock provides a solid general description of co-designing processes:

“The practice of co-design allows users to become an active part of the creative development of a product by interacting directly with design and research teams. It is grounded in the belief that all people are creative and that users, as experts of their own experiences, bring different points of view that inform design and innovation direction.

Co-design is a method that can be used in all stages of the design process, but especially in the ideation or concepting phases. Partnering with users ensures their inclusion in knowledge development, idea generation, and concept development on products whose ultimate goal is to best serve these same users.

In this article I will examine the different stages of a co-design research process, as well as the methods and practices that are commonly used in each phase. Furthermore, I’ll look at the new forms of co-designing that have emerged as a result of social technologies.”

Read article

22 April 2012

The flight from conversation

22turkle-web-articleLarge

Sherry Turkle is a psychologist and professor at M.I.T., says we use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right: the Goldilocks effect.

“Over the past 15 years, I’ve studied technologies of mobile connection and talked to hundreds of people of all ages and circumstances about their plugged-in lives. I’ve learned that the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who we are.

We’ve become accustomed to a new way of being “alone together.” Technology-enabled, we are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be. We want to customize our lives. We want to move in and out of where we are because the thing we value most is control over where we focus our attention. We have gotten used to the idea of being in a tribe of one, loyal to our own party.”

Read article

22 April 2012

Watching every click you make

15CULTURE-articleLarge

Henry Alford, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, wonders when in the digital age, did privacy become a choice rather than a given.

“When Facebook bought Instagram, the social photo app for iPhone and Android devices, on April 9, a chorus of concern emanated from the Twittersphere: Facebook would have access to Instagram users’ uploaded photos. Would that photo of Aunt Letty in her bathing suit suddenly show up in an ad for embolism stockings?

Granted, some of these invasions of privacy are the result of our not having correctly wrangled an app’s privacy control settings. But when did privacy become a choice rather than a given? And why does slogging through a new app’s voluminous terms of service or figuring out how to activate a site’s privacy control settings sometimes feel as if it requires a graduate degree in tiny print?”

Read article

22 April 2012

How to create products hand in hand with your customer

inline-hand-in-hand-product-development-2

In his book “Wicked problems: Problems worth solving“, author John Kolko (founder and director of Austin Center for Design) argues that involving end users in the entire design process ensures a humane design solution. He now summarises his argument in this article for FastCo.Design.

“Cultural probes literally probe a given culture, poking at society and trying to extract inspiration through narrative. Because the input comes from non-designers, this becomes a form of “designing with,” as the designer’s role becomes one of interpretation and facilitation rather than visionary. This is still a fully creative endeavor on the designer’s part. But consumers temper and inspire the results.”

Read article

14 March 2012

It’s cooperation, stupid

cooperation

The argument of this pamphlet, written by Charles Leadbeater for IPPR (the Institute for Public Policy Research, the UK’s leading progressive thinktank) is that we should jettison the assumption that humans are selfish, first and foremost. Instead, we should start from the assumption that most of the time, most people want to be cooperative.

Download pamphlet (free)

6 October 2011

Five myths about social media

Social media
Ramesh Srinivasan methodically breaks down five ‘myths’ about social media in this Washington Post article:

Here are his myths (which few in the UX community would flatly believe in, I think):
1. Social media gives power to the people
2. Governments easily monitor and censor social media
3. Facebook and Twitter enabled the Arab Spring
4. Only young people use social media
5. Social media creates a global village

6 August 2011

Home builders need to look beyond the focus group to learn what buyers want

Home buying
Architects and construction companies can learn a lot still from the techniques of ethnographers and UX designers. Here is an example from the Real Estate section of the Washington Post:

“What do home buyers want?

For more than two decades, home builders have sought to answer this perplexing question by sifting through the information gleaned from focus groups. Typically, the people who participate are looking for a new home or have recently purchased one. The builders ask them questions and incorporate their responses into the making of the next subdivision. But the focus group input does not dramatically affect the sales, and the builders fume that “buyers are liars.”

Not at all, said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University. The problem is the subject under discussion, not the truthfulness of the respondents.

It’s difficult for people to understand their relationship with their home, Ariely said. “We do things, but we are completely unaware of the environment around us, and we don’t understand its effects on our behavior and well being,” he said.”

Read article